Landing

by Katarina Vuckovic

the blue heron lives here,
flying over fen and moss,
waiting patiently for her kill by the river’s edge.
i can hear the beating of her wings
followed by a swift sail

…and if i listen even closer,
women on porches yelling
make love not war!
while men whittle their drink
and the barrel of their guns.

the blue heron lives here
and apparently,
i live here too.

my mother said
remember who you are
before I left.

inside me live wild plums
and cliffs of crumbling orange rock.
the house on the green hill
i haven’t seen since.

women in black –
smacking dough against hot oven walls,
boiling poison out of mushrooms,
and foreign men in suits.

women in deep black,
opening their bellies
with their own bloody hands:
the makers of life and death.

i stuffed myself with wild plums
before I waved goodbye.
i never really left.

my children’s pockets are
weighed with river rocks,
not the shrapnel from my hill.